Smoke a Sausage before Banging it on the Barbecue
Foodies are constantly looking for new ways to add flavour to meat, although roasting and frying are popular everyday choices, nothing compares to the primitive methods such as an open grill or a smoker.
The method of smoking meat was used many years ago before the invention of fridges and freezes, as although meat would keep quite fresh if hung in a dairy (cold room) some found that smoking it preserved the flavour for much longer.
Now TV chefs around the country champion smoking as a flavour enhancer rather than as a preservative. Many have shown us how to create the smoky effects at home with the use of straw, a wok and a piece of foil. Although this is suitable for small items such as one or two portions of fish, or six sausages, it doesn’t produce enough of the smokiness to add flavour to whole joints of meat.
Almost any fresh food stuff can be smoked with the right equipment, from cheese to sauces, mushrooms to whole ducks, then depending on the food of choice it can be cooked or eaten raw.
In the US, barbecue lovers believe in the power of the smoker, combining the power of the open grill with the flavour enhancing properties of the smoke, they produce authentic barbecue ribs, steaks, burgers and a myriad of other mouth-watering treats. Just recently this craze has hit the UK, and now we all want to try a slice of the pie. Hugh Fernley Whittingstall showed us how to build a smoker British style, yet this only served to put most of us off the idea as he utilized the use of a whole shed or outhouse, making smoking seem like an expensive extravagance.
Now though for a fraction of the cost, and space, you can buy a smoker that will fit in the corner of said shed when not in use. These smokers have removable trays that allow you to stack food easily before tossing in a brisket filled with the flavour of your choice. Of course your own woodchips can be used for a traditional smoky flavour, however there are now briskets on the market that produce the perfect amount of heat for the desired time taking convenience to a whole new level. These also arrive in flavours that make the mouth water alone, such as pecan (for ham), apple (for game) or hickory (for beef – perfect for barbecue ribs), you can experiment and mix and match or provide sides to match the smoke.
There is now also another alternative, although yet to take over the UK, the popular American way of cooking is what produces such coveted flavours when enjoying American burgers chicken. They understand the importance of smoking before barbecuing and so use grills that have the facility to deliver on every level. These smoking barbecues will smoke and grill, or even steam and roast.
With so many functions you’ll never look at a piece of meat or fish in the same way again, and no matter what the weather, you’ll be champing at the bit, ready to display your new talents to your regular Barbecue guests.
My favourite is the Landmann Grand Tennessee Smoker because along with the taste and the aromas it produces during the cooking and smoking process, it also reminds me of the Wild West, giving an American theme to any gathering just by being there!
The only drawback is, it’s not yet available as a replacement for the conventional kitchen oven!
If smoking isn’t you’re thing then you may want to peruse our huge range of gas barbecues instead.